Augsburg Fortress

The Pastor: A Spirituality

The Pastor: A Spirituality

Renowned liturgical theologian Gordon Lathrop has composed a rich, meditative, and explicitly ecumenical spirituality for working pastors – whatever and wherever they are called: preachers, priests, elders, ministers, seminarians.

In Part One Lathrop urges pastors to become lifelong students of the Lord's Prayer, the Apostle's Creed, and the Commandments, continually inhabiting the questions, reversals and paradoxes of Christian life.

In Part Two he elaborates on the pastor's chief activities – presiding at the holy table, preaching, collecting for the poor – "as the center and focus for pastoral identity and spirituality." Lathrop invites pastors to recenter their busy lives on God and fuel their ministry through prayer.

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  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9780800698355
  • eBook ISBN 9781451408980
  • Age/Grade Range Adult
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 9.5
  • Pages 160
  • Publication Date January 1, 2011


"I want to recommend what looks like a really important new AFP publication: The Pastor: A Spirituality by Gordon Lathrop. It's a thoughtful acknowledgement of the strains and stresses of parish ministry and in true Lathrop style, a gracious invitation to pastors to find care and healing 'in the life-long task of a continuing catechumenate ... prayer, creed, and commandments ... that are to be taken in deeply rooted sacramental ways.' One of the reviewers says, 'Every pastor who reads these pages will come away with a renewed vision and hope and a deepened spirituality for the task of leading God's people.' In light of clergy stress and the overwhelming expectations especially this time of year, this may be an important book to share with your pastors."
– Julie K. Aageson, ELCA Resource Centers

"... Every pastor who reads these pages will come away with a renewed vision and hope and a deepened spirituality for the task of leading God's people."
– Thomas G. Long, Candler School of Theology, Emory University

"Gordon Lathrop takes full account of the strain, stress, and crisis of ordained ministry and makes a response to that crisis that is thoughtful, gentle, large-hearted, wise, and sure to be important for ministers who read this book."
– Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary

"Lathrop connects the dots between the Gospel lived in the Sunday gathering and the vocational and spiritual lives of pastors – and all others in search of a deeper life of faith and action. The spirituality of which this book speaks and the pastoral vocation it redefines are both biblical and Christological symbols, and at the same time profoundly in-fleshed theological realities. The words at the heart of this rich and reorienting book take their life from, and speak to, the very real things we encounter as the people of God gather for its liturgical life.... This is a volume to have, to hold, and to mark, as it is said of all good things."
– Gláucia Vasconcelos Wilkey, School of Theology and Ministry, Seattle University